Mobile Workspaces in YQL

It’s an exciting time for Lethbridge’s creative community as our city begins to embrace workspaces that have become in the norm in both Calgary and Edmonton.

Central coffee spaces like Stoketown and Sonder are seemingly designed for the laptop-loitering crowd, and adding to the buzz is Jonny Bean’s 13 Street gentrification.

While freelancers in the city typically set up shop at home, meetings are usually arranged at client locations or local coffee shops, so meeting privately or distraction-free can be an everyday challenge.

This Fall, Lethbridge welcomes two new projects in the downtown core aim to add beautiful spaces aimed at mobile and coworking arrangements. Existing options like The Port YQL (located in the old De Jourdan’s photography studio) or Tecconnect (Economic Development Lethbridge’s startup-centric space) are joined by Mortar & Brick (Arts & Event Space, located near Big John’s Books) & the Hive (coworking space - above Bread, Milk & Honey) - now open.

In addition to these private spaces for entrepreneurs, the City of Lethbridge has done a fantastic job of reinventing the downtown public library spaces: adding plentiful power, decent WiFi, computer access, self-service printing options, facility rental and free parking.

Recently a designer friend called me seeking advice on a workshop venue, I finally had more options than the usual suspects - Galt Museum, CASA, or commercial hotel & restaurant links. Dwell Urban Venue and Mortar & Brick are two beautiful options with a historic arts-vibe that I happily recommended for a TELUS Storyhive event.

After searching through directories online, I occurred to me that there wasn’t a curated list of resources online for those seeking space - so here’s my incomplete list of places to:

Have a lunch meeting

  • Jonny Bean Two long tables at the back of this coffee shop can be reserved for small groups, plenty of power and WiFi available (plus a fantastic team). Limited parking.
  • Sonder In a similar configuration to Jonny Bean (although smaller), tables near the back are better suited for a working lunch - bonus: locally produced Redengine Coffee.
  • Bread, Milk & Honey Longer group tables at the front combined with fantastic front-window seating - metered parking (easier with the mobile app).
  • Stoketown Cafe & Cure Lots of seating throughout, comfy benches, historic local decor and a private room that rents hourly.

Connect to WiFi and get to work

  • The Port YQL $200/mo. or $20/day to access this shared workspace between regular business hours (9am-5pm).
  • The Hive A reimagined space above Bread, Milk & Honey with great photos of the space on instagram - rates keep changing, check their mobile app (iOS), (Android) for current info.
  • Lethbridge Public Library $15/year for locals, public Wifi, long counters (with plenty of power), free parking and self-serve printing make this a no-nonsense choice to power-through the daily grind.

Host a meeting

  • Stoketown Cafe & Cure (Private Room) Connect with Glen, Stoketown owner and book his private space for meetings, coworking or small events. Glen’s so community-focused it’s hard not to be a cheerleader for this space.
  • Lethbridge Public Library While facility rental rates favour non-profits, the Crossings Branch on the Westend have modern classroom and meeting spaces with natural light that are worth considering.
  • CASA Great balcony or community meeting spaces, and great gallery shows to take in while on premise.
  • Tecconnect Beautiful space, very technology-centric and startup friendly - the location is remote, but the parking is free and plentiful.
  • Galt Museum Free parking, historical setting with modern amenities.

Hold an Event

  • Galt Museum Give your guests a taste of local history with this historic / modern facility combo and unmatched view of the Coulee below (and a bridge, there’s a bridge in Lethbridge).
  • CASA Great for screenings or dance facilities - this facility bleeds art from floor to floor.
  • Dwell Urban Venue Located above Jonny Bean in the Historic Burgman’s Hall, this venue lends itself to intimate music performances, yoga, photo shoots, receptions and more.
  • Mortar & Brick Beautiful gallery setting and downtown location, brick decor and (obviously) art throughout.

Do you have a favourite place to bang out some work in Lethbridge? Leave me a comment below and I’ll update this post to help future readers.

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Michael Warf

Michael Warf

Leveraging boundless curiosity - Michael habitually takes deep-dives into creative, technology and life-hacks - and airs his exploits via social media.